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First Timer’s Guide To Exploring The Palacio de Liria In Madrid

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Madrid is a place that’s a perfect blend of historical and contemporary times, offering visitors a rich taste of Spanish culture. Some of its most exquisite attractions to look out for are the Prado Museum, Buen Retiro Park, the Royal Palace, Temple of Debod, and Plaza Mayor among many others. European art, culture, and history loom throughout the city in all its historical and modern buildings. One such place that most visitors might overlook is the gorgeous Palacio de Liria.

Located in the heart of the city, this palace has so much history within its walls and is the current residence of the 19th Duke of Alba - Carlos Fitz-James Stuart. The palace also has a rich collection of private European art and paintings worth looking at.

Check out our in-depth guide to find out everything you need to know to plan a visit to Liria Palace Madrid.

Palacio de Liria

Essential Information


Palacio de Liria Madrid
Palacio de Liria Madrid
Palacio de Liria Madrid

Palacio de Liria - Things to know

Suggested duration - 1 hours
Starting Liria Palace Madrid ticket price: Skip-the-line
tickets with an audio guide cost €15.
Closest Subway Stop -Ventura Rodríguez

Palacio de Liria Opening Hours

Monday - Wednesday: 10 am - 12:45 pm
Thursday - Friday: 10 am - 12:45 pm ; 4 pm - 6:15 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9:30 am - 12:45 pm ;
3:30 pm - 6:15 pm (hours might differ)

Must-see at Palacio de Liria

Tour one of Madrid’s most impressive private residences,
learn about the history of the palace from your audio
guide, and marvel at the private art collection
within the palace.

Palacio de Liria Address

C. de la Princesa, 20, 28008 Madrid, Spain.
Get Directions

Palacio de Liria Madrid - 10 Second History


Palacio de Liria Madrid

Palacio de Liria Madrid is not just an important historical landmark in Spain, but also the most impressive private residences in Madrid. Built between 1767 and 1785 by renowned architect Ventura Rodriguez, this palace was a neoclassical architectural marvel. It was later modified by English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Sadly, during the Spanish Civil War in November of 1936, several fires destroyed the inside of the Liria Palace, leaving nothing but its four walls standing. Fortunately, most of the art collections were rescued and stored in several places across Madrid like the Bank of Spain, the British Embassy, and the Prado Museum. After its ruins, it was carefully rebuilt first by the 17th Duke of Alba, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, and later completed by the 18th Duchess, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, and her companion Luiz Martínez de Irujo. The genius architect behind the construction of this brand new Liria Palace was Manuel Cabanyes. Keeping the original layout of the palace, Cabanyes redesigned the chapel, the main staircase, and the hall.

Today, Liria Palace is the private residence of the 19th Duke of Alba, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, and holds the world’s most precious and private collection of artwork right from the 17th century. It is also the headquarters of the Casa de Alba Foundation, established in 1975 by Duchess Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of the House of Alba.

Palacio de Liria Madrid Design & Architecture


Palacio de Liria Madrid

Liria Palace is the most important private residence in Madrid. This long, rectangular neoclassical building was initially designed by Louis Guilbert followed by Ventura Rodriguez, and constructed between 1767 and 1785. In the later years, it was modified by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who worked on the rebuilding of the interiors. After the massive destruction of the palace during the Spanish Civil War, it was finally rebuilt by Manuel Cabanyes.

The Duchess Cayetana and her first husband Luis Martínez de Irujo shared a deep passion for decoration and antiques after visiting many houses in England. They played a crucial role in rebuilding the Palacio de Liria after the Spanish Civil War. The palace consists of four floors, the ground floor of which contains the music room, offices, studies, the library, and archives. On the first floor, you will find all the reception rooms, the dining rooms, and the duchess’s rooms. The second floor has private sitting rooms and apartments for the duchess’s children. Servant rooms and a painting room are on the third floor. Some of the most beautiful rooms to look out for during your tour is the Great Hall, the Library, the Stuart Room, Empress Room, and the Grand Duke Room.

Why You Should Visit Palacio de Liria


Palacio de Liria

  • Walk into the most important and impressive private residences in Madrid currently occupied by the 19th Duke of Alba, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart.
  • Although it is off the tourist radar, it is Madrid’s hidden treasure with so much history and culture within its walls.
  • Liria Palace has stood the test of time after being destroyed by multiple fires during the Spanish Civil War. It has been rebuilt since then, while still preserving its original structure and design.
  • Inside Liria Palace you will find the world’s biggest collection of private artwork, including paintings by Goya, Rubens, and Velázquez.
  • A tour of the palace is an absolute treat for the senses, especially with the inclusion of the audio guide giving you a detailed history of the palace.
  • Duchess Cayetana and her first husband Luis Martinez de Irujo shared a passion for decoration and antiques after visiting England. They played a crucial role in designing the palace after the Spanish Civil War.

Liria Palace Madrid - Highlights


Here are some noteworthy highlights of Liria Palace that must not miss!

1Biggest residence in the whole of Madrid

Palacio de Madrid stands proudly as the biggest private residence in the whole of Madrid with around 200 private rooms spread over 4 massive floors. It is often regarded as the younger sibling of Madrid’s Royal Palace because of its high royal importance.

the arch dubai activities

2Goya’s portrait of the 13th Duchess of Alba

Maria Cayetana was the 13th Duchess of Alba was regarded as a muse for the famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. The story between these two serves as historic gossip from back in the day. Inside the palace, you will find some of his famous paintings of the Duchess including the famous one, ‘The White Duchess.’

the white dutchess
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia Website

3First edition of Don Quixote

The library inside the palace holds an impressive collection of royal, nobiliary, and colonial documents. Around 4,000 of these documents were lost in the fire, while some were safely kept away. Today the library holds around 9,000 books, including one first-edition copy of Don Quixote.

Don Quixote

4Pet cemetery

The garden outside Liria Palace has several animal statues that have a comical element to them. On one corner of the garden is a pet cemetery, where the family pets of House of Alba were buried. Here you will find a unique set of tombstones built for animals.

the arch dubai activities

Palacio de Liria Madrid Tour Deconstructed


On your Liria Palace Madrid tour, you can expect not just a visual treat but a treat for all your senses. This carefully crafted tour has been carefully crafted to give visitors an unforgettable walk through history with the cumulative effect of music, voice, words, and images.

Music is a huge part of the Liria Palace Tour, that takes you on a journey, stimulating everything around you. The dukes of the House of Alba always encouraged the development of music over centuries. All the carefully selected classical music that you will hear on your tour is closely tied with the history of the palace. Expect to hear compositions by Strauss, Boccherini, Offenbach, and Tchaikovsky.

Your tour will take you through the different floors of the palace including 14 important rooms, where you can get a close look at the intricate designs and artwork in each room. Pay attention to your audio guide, the voice of which will narrate important events and information about the palace and its inhabitants. Audio guides are available in Spanish, French, English, Italian, and German.

The content of the audio guide was carefully written to take visitors on a journey through time with poems, famous quotes, and important historical information. Liria Palace contains the largest collection of private artwork in the world. Be sure to look out for the works of famous paintings by Goya, Murillo, El Greco, Velázquez, Titian, Ribera, and Rubens.

Liria Palace as a whole is sure to take your breath away with its high ceilings, decorative walls and furniture, and collective displays across its interiors. Enjoy your walk through the most important private palace in Madrid and see how its royalty has lived.

Palacio de Liria Madrid Tickets

Which One Should You Get?


Skip-the-line Palace of Liria + Audio Guide Tickets includes fast-track entry to the palace plus an audio guide to take you through its history. It is the most recommeded ticket since you get to access fast-track entry to the palace and make the most of your visit.

Here are the other ticket options you can choose from.

  • Empress Eugenia Guided Tour focused on the legacy of Empress Eugenia and the Art of the Second Empire.
  • Thirteen Sonnet for Thirteen Works of Art for a beautiful evening of poetry in the palace gardens.
  • Gifted Audioguided Visit which includes a visit to the 14 main rooms in the palace along with an audio guide.
  • Visit People in Wheelchairs, an exclusive entrance for people with reduced mobility and a tour of a dozen of the important rooms inside the palace.
  • Private Tours are available to those who want an exclusive tour of the palace behind closed doors. Although the price per group is much higher than a regular ticket, you get to see many private rooms inside the castle along with an expert guide.

Tips for your Palacio de Liria Madrid Visit


  • Buy your Liria Palace tickets online to avoid long queues, especially during COVID.
  • There are only a limited number of people on each tour, so make sure you check the availability online before your visit.
  • Travel bags, backpacks, and umbrellas are not allowed inside. Only small bags that fit into the lockers can be carried. Lockers are 30 cm wide, 42 cm tall, and 50 cm deep.
  • You cannot enter the gift shop unless you have a tour ticket.
  • Children below the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • The palace is accessible to disabled persons. Up to 2 wheelchairs can be accommodated in each tour. In these cases, tickets should be booked in advance so appropriate arrangements can be made by the staff.
  • Guests are not allowed to take any pictures or videos inside the palace. This can be done in the garden area once the tour is over.
  • All guests are advised to use the restroom before the tour begins as there will be known lavatory facilities inside the palace.

Visiting Palacio de Liria

Practical Information


Opening Hours

Monday - Wednesday: 10 am - 12:45 pm
Thursday - Friday: 10 am - 12:45 pm ; 4 pm - 6:15 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9:30 am - 12:45 pm ; 3:30 pm - 6:15 pm (hours might differ)

The palace is closed on the following dates:
January 1st
January 5th
January 6th
December 24th
December 25th
December 31st

Getting There

Metro
Nearest metro stations are Ventura Rodríguez (3), Argüelles (3, 4, 6), and Plaza España (3, 10).

Bus
The nearest bus stops are Ventura Rodríguez (1, 2, 44, 74, 133, 138, C2, N21), Mártires de Alcalá (2), Princesa - Rey Francisco (1, 44, 133, 138, C1, 2, C2), Princesa - Centro Comercial (M2), and Centro Cultural Conde Duque (M2).

Cercanías (local train)
Hop on train numbers C1, C10, or C4A to reach Palacio de Liria Madrid.

By BiciMAD Bike
You can also rent a bike and head to the palace. Parking spots for BiciMAD near the palace are at Estacion BiciMad and Estacion 203 BiciMad.

Cercanías (local train)
Hop on train numbers C1, C10, or C4A to reach Palacio de Liria Madrid.

By Car
The nearest car park to Liria Palace is Princesa 25.

Best Time to Visit

Liria Palace Madrid is open throughout the year except on January 1st, 5th, and 6th, and December 24th, 25th, and 31st. Madrid in general is perfect to visit in the fall (September to November) or spring (March to May). Temperatures during this time are pleasant and great for outdoor activities.

Since all tours at the palace happen in small groups, you can choose any day of the week to visit it.

Amenities at Palacio de Liria Madrid


  • Gift Shop: Keep in mind that you need to have purchased a ticket for the tour to be able to visit the gift shop. Inside, you will find a fun collection of souvenirs, and other exclusive palace merchandise to take home with you.
  • Parking: There are paid parking lots near Liria Palace Madrid available at affordable rates. Some nearby garages are Princesa 25, Garaje Marcenado, Reim, and Vallehermoso, all of which are less than a 10-minute walk from the palace.
  • Restrooms: Restrooms are not available inside the palace once the tour begins. Be sure to use the lavatory before you begin the tour.

Restaurants near Liria Palace Madrid


Check out these eateries within walking distance from Liria Palace Madrid that offer lip-smacking delicacies.

Hummus platter
Aladino

Indulge in the best of Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine in this Aladdin-themed restaurant in Princesa. Grab yourself hearty doses of hummus, mutabal, salads, and kebabs in a friendly, vibrant ambiance!

empanadas
Black and Yellow

When in Spain you have to try some Spanish cuisine! Black and Yellow offer an exciting set of Spanish dishes like empanadas and cachapas, with a modern touch.

Dining in Madrid
Restaurante Küche

The classy interiors at Restaurant Küche coupled with its exquisite global dishes will surely be worth your visit. Because this restaurant is popular, you might have to make a booking to reserve a table.

Japanese food
Kai Thai

Dive into a colourful and flavoursome spread of Asian and Thai food at Kai Thai and give your taste buds a solid treat. Almost everything on their menu is worth trying!

Taj Mahal Plaza España
Taj Mahal Plaza España

This restaurant doesn’t just offer great Indian food but a wholesome experience for its guests. Feast on a delicious spread of naans, gravies, and biryanis right in the heart of Madrid.

Hotels near Liria Palace Madrid


Looking for a place to stay near Palacio de Liria? Here are a few recommended options.

Things to do near Palacio de Liria Madrid


Squeeze in a visit to these below Madrid attractions while you're in the vicinity.

1Plaza de la Armería

Plaza de la Armería

Outside the Royal Palace of Madrid is a stunning space built in the shape of a square. Plaza de la Armeria was initially built on the orders of Philip II to house the royal stables. It was later on carefully reconstructed based on the plan laid out by Spanish architect Enrique Maria Repullés. Over the years it has served different purposes, but is now used for public ceremonies and tourism. Click some Instagram-worthy pictures and walk through this royal, historic space on your visit to Plaza de la Armeria.


2 Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

Located in the middle of the vibrant streets of Madrid is this majestic and vast open space. This grand central square was designed by Juan Gómez de Mora in 1619 in typical Herrerian style and initially was used for auspicious public ceremonies like weddings, royal births, bullfights, and even deaths! Today, this gorgeous historical space is used for a lively Christmas market every December and also holds Madrid’s main tourist office. Marvel at this massive architectural marvel with 237 iron-wrought balconies and 17th-century frescoes inspired by zodiac signs and gods.


3 Temple of Debod

Temple of Debod

Located in the centre of Madrid on Gran Via Street is the ancient Egyptian place of worship called the Temple of Debod, dating back to the second century BC. The temple was donated by the Egyptian government to Spain as a way to save it from floods during the construction of the Aswan Dam.
Built during the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty, the temple was ordered to be built by King Adijalamani of Meroë dedicated to the god Amun and goddess Isis. Over the years, new additions were made to the original temple by other Ptolemaic kings and Roman Emperors.


4 Monumento Cervantes

The impressive Monumento Cervantes highlighting Don Quixote and his squire takes you back in time. Set behind an aesthetic rectangular pool, this piece of art is a popular landmark in Madrid. The intricate details have so much history to tell!
Ordered by King Alfonso XIII in 1915, this monument was a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the publication of the second part of Don Quixote. Although the main part of the structure was completed in the 1920s, the sculptures of Aldonza and Dulcinea were added in the 1960s. Cervantes monument is another symbol of the rich culture of Madrid.


5 Cerralbo Museum

The infamous Cerralbo museum is probably one of the most important museums in Madrid. Once home to the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, visitors will be transported back in time to see how an aristocrat lived back then. The unique classical style of the palace includes Rococo and Neo-Baroque elements, which are well worth the visit.
Cerralbo Museum served as both a house and a museum, with over 50,000 objects including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, tapestry, glass, and more. The structure was donated to the country by the Marquis of Cerralbo to serve as a place for science and art lovers to be inspired.


6 Cerralbo Museum

Monumento Cervantes

The infamous Cerralbo museum is probably one of the most important museums in Madrid. Once home to the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, visitors will be transported back in time to see how an aristocrat lived back then. The unique classical style of the palace includes Rococo and Neo-Baroque elements, which are well worth the visit.
Cerralbo Museum served as both a house and a museum, with over 50,000 objects including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, tapestry, glass, and more. The structure was donated to the country by the Marquis of Cerralbo to serve as a place for science and art lovers to be inspired.


Palacio de Liria Reviews


Never visited Palacio De Liria but when walking down Calle De La Princesa we saw the entrance to this palace and it looks amazing and very popular. It's a grand staircase, looks amazing, very ornate,it was fun sitting outside a taberna across the road and seeing lots of people getting their photos took with the magnificent staircase to this palace as a grand backdrop ,the palace itself has a two year waiting list to visit and you have to reserve so that was out but if the staircase up to the palace looks this good I can only imagine that it looks amazing.” Well worth checking out.


Neil K, September 2019

Booked tickets online to visit the Palacio de Liria after it was opened to the public just over a week ago. The guided tour with audio guide is excellent and gives lots of information about the many priceless works of art, the decor and the history of the family de Alba.
I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the palace and would urge any visitor to Madrid to plan well in advance and to book.


The_Kayaking_Failure, September 2019

Palacio de Liria Madrid - FAQs


When did Palacio de Liria open to the public? 

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